starvation by Mark Prisco

suffering gives reason to believe

& not to. i’m bedevilled meanwhile


by symbols, images of death,

martyrdom, memory, the clump


of body blows, curved steel

on flesh; the severing of a boy’s



i choose not,


not because it’s rational,

but as protest.


i have striven not

for correctness, philosophic


consistency, but

to care less.



the ascetic starves himself, is

mean, walks barefoot


to the shops, on hot

sand; no


beach bum

tho, on the road


to morocco or

grey street, hamilton.


he, or she, has

discipline; skin,


bone; eyes

the size of


saucers, open







& when it’s gone, you think:

‘did that happen?’, mouth

open – o, stupid! marco is

so stupid – o.


he might have lived – if

he’d played his cards

right – longer.



the stillness of the stem

held between two winds.


the silence of the morning.


birds resonate

like leaves on the plum tree;

mute, invisible.


this evanescent

miracle is nothing




Originally posted on


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